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Suzuki 800 Intruder Club & Forum

A UK Site Dedicated To The Suzuki C800, VL800, VX800, M800, VZ800, VS800, C50, M50 Model Intruder / Boulevard / Marauder
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 VX800 yet another petcock/fuel tap thread....sorry!

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Karma Train

PostSubject: VX800 yet another petcock/fuel tap thread....sorry!   Fri Oct 09, 2015 4:33 pm

Just got a VX last month and it reminds me so much of the big old British twins I used to ride back in the day, my Bonneville, my Tiger 750 all spring to mind when I set off on the Vixer, it's a very evocative ride, for me at least.

The bugger of it is though, she is now in bits round the back.

I went out to her the other day and noticed a little puddle of petrol under the centre stand. 
I tried to put that out of my mind, started her up and the tiny puddle grew into a not so tiny lake.
Stopped bike, discovered that the back air box was full of fuel and so was the damn would appear that I have become the latest victim of VX800 crappy petcock/fuel tap syndrome which I'm struggling to find a way of fixing hence my joining of this fine forum. Be kind to me, I barely know one end of a spanner from the other....I'm a guitarist, what do you expect? 

So can some kind soul please explain how this dire situation occurs? I've read loads about it on various forums and I 'get it' that it's that little 'o' ring on the back of the diaphragm which fails, but after that happens, what route does the fuel take to arrive in both the air box and the crankcase? I just don't understand how it gets there and why the needle valve in the rear carb doesn't stop it from happening even if the petcock fails, or is it a case of both things; the petcock 'o' ring and the back carb needle valve failing at the same time? 
Once again please accept my apologies for not knowing anything much about the mechanics of bikes, I could build you a computer in my sleep but bike engines have always remained a total mystery to me....along with domestic plumbing (shudder).

Secondly, could you please share with me your opinion on the best way of sorting my old girl out and getting her back on the road.
Mine was a 1996 VX with the vacuum style petcock which is now in bits upon my bench.
If I understand what I've read on this and other forums there are basically three methods of rectifying this situation.

a) Refurbishing the original vacuum tap with a repair kit, I've discovered that the kit used on the Kawasaki ZR Zephyr 550, 750 and 1100 fits the VX tap so I have one of those on order. I understand that when using the vacuum tap, fitting a secondary cut off valve is highly recommended.
b) Fitting the original 'manual' style petcock with the 'off' position and remembering to always turn it off when the bike is left. I have a manual type petcock on it's way to me from Germany, my worry with that though is it's been used and is also extremely old so it might be prone to failure.
c) I've read on a USA based VX forum that the petcock for the Yamaha Raptor is a drop in and much more reliable option, obviously the front dial would need swapping with the VX one in order to get the selector disc to work but this is the option I favour if it's possible to get hold of one of these taps in the UK.

So, does anybody know which Raptor tap is the one in question please? Perhaps give me a part number or maybe provide a link? There seems to be a whole heap of Raptor models out there and I'm just not sure which one they are referring to.

Lastly, would it be advisable to change both needle valves whilst the bike is in pieces, do you think the valves contributed in any way to the incident?

Hopefully the bike will be OK somewhere down the line, I don't think I actually rode her with fuel getting in the crankcase, as far as I'm aware it happened when the bike was parked up, I did start her up a few times before I realised what had happened but she never got warm and the engine sounded totally healthy before the penny dropped and I shut her down.

Again I'm really sorry if my questions are slightly or seriously idiotic but I only ask out of a desire to get her up and about again, I only managed about 500 miles on her before the fault occurred but in that time I formed quite a strong bond with the dear old lady.

Any help would be most gratefully received. Many thanks, Charlie.
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Very Valued VIP Member

PostSubject: Re: VX800 yet another petcock/fuel tap thread....sorry!   Fri Oct 09, 2015 5:08 pm

Don't be afraid to ask anything on here Charlie, even if its been done to death there is always some one willing to help!

Personally not that I have had any major experience of carbed bikes but I would replace the petcock and install a shut off valve after it for when the bike is laid up over night etc. I believe and if im wrong someone will let you know! that if the petrol is over running the carbs and spilling into the air filter it tends to mean the floats are stuck/jammed in the bottom of the Carbs. They should allow only so much petrol to enter the reservoir then shut off like a toilet cistern. if that's case removing the carb and giving it a good clean helps. Also check that the fuel filter is not blocked AND the correct type, I replaced the fuel lines and filter on my wifes first 50cc Chinese scoot and this stopped the petrol from running! put the crap ones back on and it worked fine, go figure.  If you haven't already tested the petcock pull the fuel line out where it runs from the air supply and see if the petrol just runs along, it shouldn't. it needs alternating pressure like breathing in and out in order to draw the petrol down.
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Karma Train

PostSubject: Re: VX800 yet another petcock/fuel tap thread....sorry!   Tue Oct 13, 2015 10:51 pm

Just a brief update for anyone who's interested which I guess means just you Justin!
Well, what a cow of a bike the VX is to work on, a hateful beast indeed, it's so lovely and slim to ride but that's because Suzuki appear have crammed all the mechanical bits and pieces into the smallest space possible, no room to work on it at all.
Still I got a mate to come over, an infinitely more patient chap than myself and between us we have given the old girl a bit of a going over.
New oil and K&N filter, new air filters, removed both carbs, checked all jets etc, gave them a clean even though there wasn't any sign of crud inside them, we fitted new needle valves to both carbs even though the old ones looked fine, finally I replaced the faulty vacuum petcock with an original manual type with an 'off' position, I tested it for a number of days before refitting the tank so hopefully it'll be OK....just got to remember to turn the bloody thing off now.
Started her up when everything was refitted and she sounds fine, haven't been down the road on her yet but I'm mildly optimistic.
I'm really grateful to this forum which helped immeasurably with sorting out my VX problems, it's an absolute mine of extremely useful information. Thanks again.
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PostSubject: Re: VX800 yet another petcock/fuel tap thread....sorry!   Tue Oct 13, 2015 11:13 pm

Glad I could be of help, seriously I hope she runs well when you take her out.
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